For its annual photography contest, National Geographic Traveler received more than 18,000 entries from all over the world. According to the official website, judges "found themselves wandering through stunning ice caves, mysterious desert views and intriguing scenes from cultures throughout the world." The winning photographs are absolutely stunning, featuring scenes from Colorado to Israel to Burma.
Entrants were able to submit to one of the following categories: travel portraits, outdoor scenes, sense of place and spontaneous moments. The following slideshow features photographs that won the top three prizes and seven merit awards with captions written by the photographers themselves. Which is your favorite?
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